* 11:40 am - The governor will reiterate his threat to call a mid-December special session during a press conference later today. From a press release…
As property tax bills are put in the mail to Cook County homeowners, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today will call on the Illinois General Assembly to reconvene before the end of the year to provide permanent property tax relief for Cook County homeowners. Earlier this month, lawmakers overrode the Governor’s recommended changes to a property tax relief bill and approved a version that takes relief away next year, and completely phases out relief in three years.
WHO: Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. Mike and Linda Vacala, homeowners, Local elected officials
WHAT: Gov. Blagojevich will call on legislature to provide permanent property tax relief for Cook County homeowners.
WHEN: 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Residence of Mike and Linda Vacala
At least he didn’t call it a “property tax cap” this time. Sheesh.
*** 12:26 pm *** This is an interesting new development. From a press release…
Comptroller Dan Hynes today unveiled a user-friendly website that allows citizens to track political contributions made by companies that have state contracts.
“Open Book” is a searchable database of state contracts and campaign contributions that combines information from the Comptroller’s accounting system with official semi-annual campaign disclosure reports filed by political committees with the State Board of Elections (SBE).
“The purpose of Open Book is to make it much easier for the public to ‘follow the money,’” said Hynes. “That should make public officials more accountable to the people they serve. In turn, it is my hope that some measure of the public confidence in state government that has been lost over the years can be restored.”
Go check it out.
* 12:43 pm - I’ve been meaning to drop off a check to Sojourn Shelter from the proceeds from our charity site for a couple of weeks. I’ll get it over there tomorrow. From an urgent e-mail message forwarded to my by Springfield Freecycle…
On Sunday, October 14 Sojourn suffered significant water damage when our sprinkler system was inadvertently activated by one of the residents. The resulting damage has forced us to close half of the client bedrooms, the kitchen, the pantry and the dining room.
We have managed to set up temporary sleeping quarters for all of the residents and are currently working to establish our conference room as a temporary kitchen equipped with refrigerators, toasters and microwave ovens. We need your help as we work to feed our clients throughout the demolition and repair period.
We currently have 4 pressing needs: 1) paper products including plates, cups, bowls and silverware; 2) microwave meals; 3) cold food items such as cereal, granola bars, sandwich makings, etc.; and 4) cleaning items. With 27 clients currently in shelter we are working to provide approximately 425 meals per week. These meals can only be prepared using either a toaster or microwave. It is estimated that the repairs will take between 3 and 5 weeks.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (or call us at 217-726-5100 ext. 211 or 209) and let us know if your family, business or place of worship is able to help us with any the following meals or needs. Any support you can provide is greatly needed and appreciated. Please pass this e-mail along to anyone who can help!
* 12:54 pm - Lee jumps into the Weller replacement race. From a press release…
Former White House official and community leader Jimmy Lee has
announced his candidacy to succeed retiring Congressman Jerry Weller.
Recently, Lee returned to Illinois, from Washington, DC, where he served as Executive Director of the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Having a vast amount of experience in community development, business, and public policy, Lee felt that his background would be essential in keeping the 11th District in the Republican column.
* 1:02 pm - From Mark Pera’s campaign…
Democratic Congressional candidate Mark Pera on Tuesday called upon Congressman Dan Lipinski to direct his staff to return to donors or contribute to charity the payments they received from a state political campaign fund controlled by Lipinski’s father — former Congressman and federal lobbyist William Lipinski.
According to the Daily Southtown (10/21 & 10/14) and the Chicago Sun-Times (10/07), Congressman Dan Lipinski’s chief of staff and director of communications collected $13,500 in consulting fees from the “All-American Eagles” fund — a state political campaign fund — during 2006 and 2007.
Making matters worse is the fact that William Lipinski misrepresented the fund as one that benefits charitable causes in a solicitation letter that was sent out in August (see attached).
Pera said the newspaper reports raise some troubling questions.
“Why are members of Congressman Dan Lipinski’s staff receiving income from his father — a lobbyist at both the state and federal levels? If Congressman Lipinski wasn’t aware of this relationship, he should have been. If he was, then why didn’t he move to end it?” Pera said.